Ward scored with 2:18 remaining in overtime to lift the visiting Capitals past the San Jose Sharks, 5-4, on Wednesday night.
"As soon as the rebound popped out I knew that's Ward-o's house," Capitals forward Jay Beagle said. "He loves being in front and he banged it home."
Beagle, who scored twice, was part of the winning play. He was about to take a shot and then heard Mike Green call for the puck. Green's shot ricocheted off the pads of Sharks goalie Antti Niemi and Ward was in perfect position to end the game.
"Greenie shot it and I was fortunate enough to be there," Ward said. "We put in a pretty solid effort and fortunately we got the two points. That's the main thing."
Brent Burns scored twice, Logan Couture and Joe Thornton also got goals, and the Sharks lost their third straight and fifth in six games. Burns scored his goals within 22 seconds of the second period.
"It's a game you have to win," Couture said. "It seems like every game the other team is scoring easy goals. We're not making it hard enough. Nemo makes the first save and then they score. We need to get some sticks in there at least. It's too easy for them."
Braden Holtby, with a 0.88 goals-against average over his past five, saved 26 of 30 shots for Washington. Niemi stopped 28 of 33 shots.
Beagle connected on a breakaway, beating Niemi to the far post, and getting a little help from a linesman, who got tied up with a Sharks defender on the play. Carlson scored the go-ahead goal a few minutes later, with an assist from Marcus Johansson.
Thornton scored a minute later to tie the score at 4. He found an opening at the near post after taking a cross-ice pass from Joe Pavelski.
"It was good to get one back," Ward said. "I was upset giving up one to Thornton there. That was kind of my responsibility, so to get the game-winner is a bonus."
Burns, who has four goals and four assists in 10 career games against the Capitals, fired a shot past Holtby 21 seconds into the second period on a power play. Thornton won the puck off the boards and got it to Burns.
Patrick Marleau controlled the ensuing faceoff and got the puck to Burns, whose shot glanced of Holtby's shoulder pads and into the net.
Ovechkin has 31 points over his past 28 games (21 goals, 10 assists), getting points in 20 of them.
Couture scored the go-ahead goal with just over five minutes left in the second, grabbing Matt Nieto's missed shot and scoring on a wraparound.
Washington had opened the scoring with just under five minutes to play in the first period. Michael Latta fished the puck out from behind the net and passed to Brooks Orpik, whose shot bounced off Matt Tennyson's skates and directly to Beagle.
The Capitals won a shootout in San Jose last year to end a 12-game losing streak here. They've won two straight on Sharks ice for the first time since 1993.
Greg Anthony reaches agreement in court
Basketball analyst Greg Anthony will have a soliciting prostitution charge dropped if he does 32 hours of community service and stays out of trouble for four months. Anthony, his attorney and a prosecutor told a D.C. Superior Court judge Wednesday that they had agreed to the deal, called a deferred prosecution agreement, which is common in low-level misdemeanor cases in the city. Anthony, 47, was arrested at a Washington hotel on Jan. 16 on a charge of soliciting prostitution; he had been in the area to announce a men's game in College Park between Michigan State and Maryland.
More men: Maryland freshman point guard Melo Trimble has been eliminated from consideration for the John R. Wooden Award, given to the nation's top player. Trimble, who made the first cut from 50 players to 25, was taken off the list Wednesday when the pool of candidates was reduced to 20. Four freshmen remain: Ohio State guard D'Angelo Russell, Arizona forward Stanley Johnson and two Duke players, point guard Tyus Jones and center Jahlil Okafor. Russell and Wisconsin center Frank Kaminsky are the only Big Ten players left. ... Pittsburgh sophomore Jamel Artis of Baltimore was named Atlantic Coast Conference Player of the Week by a media panel after averaging 26 points, eight rebounds, 3.5 assists and three steals.
Women: Connecticut, South Carolina, Notre Dame and Tennessee would be the top seeds in the NCAA tournament if the season ended now. The NCAA committee decided for the first time to release its top four teams to this point in the season as well as the top 20 schools alphabetically. Connecticut is ranked second in the Associated Press poll, South Carolina first, Notre Dame fourth and Tennessee sixth; Baylor is ranked third and Maryland fifth.
Loyola's Chase tears ACL; UMBC women lose in OT
For at least the third time in his playing career, Loyola Maryland midfielder Jeff Chase has suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament and will miss a season. The Monrovia resident tore the ligament in his left knee as a sophomore at Boys' Latin and before his freshman year with the Greyhounds. A couple of weeks ago in practice, the junior injured the ACL in his right knee during a noncontact drill, coach Charley Toomey said Wednesday. Chase had 10 goals and five assists as part of the team's second midfield last season and was expected to anchor that line this spring.
For more from Edward Lee on Chase's injury, go to baltimoresun.com/lacrosseinsider.
Women: Nicole Tiernan scored the winning goal on a free-position with 1:55 left in overtime to lift host Temple (1-0) to a 10-9 win over UMBC (0-1). Jennie Milligan (South River) gave the Retrievers a 9-8 lead with 5:14 remaining in regulation, but Carly Demato forced overtime by scoring with 1:50 left. Reese Mackenzie (John Carroll) led the Retrievers with three goals and an assist. ... Trailing by two at halftime, No. 19 Denver (1-1, 1-0 Mountain Pacific Sports Federation) opened the second half with a 6-0 run and won, 10-6, over host Colorado (0-1, 0-1). Rachael McKinnon and Nicole Martindale each had three goals, and Jill Remenapp (Century) had a goal and two assists for the Pioneers. ... Shannon Gilroy scored five goals and No. 4 Florida (1-1) rolled to a 17-8 win over host Jacksonville (0-1).
Miami gets 2017 All-Stars; Blevins wins in arbitration
The Miami Marlins will host their first All-Star Game in 2017, their 25th season, several news organizations reported, citing sources familiar with the decision. Marlins Park opened in 2012. Outgoing commissioner Bud Selig had said Baltimore was a viable candidate for hosting the 2016 event, but that went to San Diego's Petco Park. Camden Yards was host for the game in 1993. Four current ballparks have yet to be assigned an All-Star Game — the homes of the New York Yankees, Philadelphia Phillies, Washington Nationals and Tampa Bay Rays. The Atlanta Braves plan to move into a new park in 2017.
More baseball: Relief pitcher Jerry Blevins has defeated the Nationals in salary arbitration and will earn $2.4 million this year instead of the team's offer of $2.2 million. Blevins went 2-3 with a 4.87 ERA and 66 strikeouts in 571/3 innings last season over 64 appearances and made $1,675,000. Players and teams have split six decisions. Fourteen cases remain scheduled through Feb. 20.
Varsity girls basketball: Vicky Leidner, a forward who led South Carroll to the state Class A championship in 1978, will be inducted into the school's Athletic Hall of Fame on Friday.
Major Arena Soccer League: Blast defender Pat Healey (Calvert Hall, Towson) was named to the MASL Team of the Week honorable mention list.
Event: The Maryland Associated Press Sports Editors Student group is hosting former Maryland men's basketball coach Gary Williams in a public event in the Eaton Theater of Knight Hall on the College Park campus tonight at 6:30.